CES 2012: The biggest news so far (photos)

The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show doesn't officially open until Tuesday, but that hasn't stopped a flood of product announcements and leaks. Here are the best ones so far.

John Falcone
John P. Falcone is the senior director of commerce content at CNET, where he coordinates coverage of the site's buying recommendations alongside the CNET Advice team (where he previously headed the consumer electronics reviews section). He's been a CNET editor since 2003.
John Falcone
1 of 21 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Toshiba no-glasses 3D TV

For all of you who proudly say, "I'll consider 3D TV once I can finally ditch the glasses, I've got some big news: Toshiba just called your bluff. The company says it will be bringing its no-glasses 3D TV (currently available in Europe and Japan) to the U.S. in the first quarter of 2012. We can't wait to go eyes-on later this week.

Read more:
Toshiba to ship glasses-free 3D TV to U.S. in early 2012
2 of 21 Vizio

Vizio is jumping into the PC game

In the past decade, Vizio came from nowhere to become one of the best-selling TV brands in America by selling "good enough" flat-panel TVs at prices that undercut traditional manufacturers such as Sony, Samsung, and Panasonic. Undaunted by its less successful foray into tablets in 2011, the company is now setting its sights on the PC market, with laptops and all-in-one desktops expected to hit in the spring of 2012.

Read more:
Vizio jumps into the laptop and desktop game
3 of 21 OLPC

OLPC's $100 XO 3.0 tablet

The One Laptop Per Child organization has distributed more than 2.4 million of its $100 laptops to needy children in developing nations throughout the world since it debuted in 2007. Now the nonprofit foundation is upping the charitable ante with a $100 touch-screen tablet, which is slated to debut later this week at CES.

Read more:
$100 OLPC tablet to debut at CES
4 of 21 LG

LG's 55-inch OLED TV

The flat-screen TV revolution of the past decade has been powered by just two display technologies: plasma and LCD (the latter powered by fluorescent or LED backlights). Another contender--OLED (organic light-emitting diode) technology--is already widely used in phones, but it's been too costly to scale up to big-screen TVs. But LG says it's made a breakthrough: the company is pledging to deliver a 55-inch OLED TV before the end of 2012. It may cost upwards to $8,000 to $10,000, but that will get you a pencil-thin display with (hopefully) better-than-plasma black levels. We can't wait to see this one in person.

Read more:
Could LG's new 55-inch OLED be the best TV ever?
5 of 21 Nikon

The Nikon D4: dSLR to die for

You didn't really think that Nikon was going to stand idly by and let Canon release the new $6,800 EOS 1D X in March without a response, did you? After the usual cat-and-mouse game of online leaks and innuendo, the Nikon D4 became official last week. The major high points of the $6,000 Nikon D3S replacement are its improved autofocus, increased durability, better performance, and more-competitive video capabilities. Look for our hands-on impressions soon.

Read more:
Nikon D4 (finally) arrives
6 of 21 Samsung

Samsung's new monitors: Sexy and loaded

Apple gets (well-deserved) props for its product design, but we think even some Mac-heads will swoon when they get a look at Samsung's TB750 series 27-inch monitor. Aside from the gorgeous design, the TB750 are loaded with features, including MHL support (for connecting to tablets and phones) and Intel Wireless Display. Oh, and it doubles as a 1080p HDTV. Nice.

Read more:
Samsung uses monitors to achieve device harmony
7 of 21 Josh Miller/CNET

Nokia Lumia 900: LTE-ready Windows Phone 7

Nokia and Microsoft have teamed up to turn around their declining mobile fortunes with an onslaught of Windows Phone 7 models. The promising Lumia 710 and Lumia 800 (shown above) will soon be followed up by the Lumia 900. When it hits AT&T in March (according to the rumors), it'll be the first LTE-powered 4G Windows Phone you can buy, further leveling the playing field between the WinPhone platform and the spate of recent well-apportioned Android superphones.

Read more:
LTE-ready Nokia Lumia 900 'Ace' details spill ahead of CES
8 of 21 David Carnoy/CBS Interactive

TelyHD: Skype video phone for your TV

Living-room video phones are nothing new, but they're getting easier to use and more affordable. Case in point is the new TelyHD, a $250 gadget that turns any TV into a Skype-compatible video phone. It's one of several like-minded products you'll see at the show this year--and more proof we're already living the "Jetsons" lifestyle.

Read more:
Say hello to TelyHD, an Android-based Skype video phone for your TV
9 of 21 Lenovo

Lenovo laptops get Thunderbolt, dual CPUs

Lenovo is refreshing the ThinkPad line for 2012 with a variety of unique updates. Among the most notable: the X1 gets a dual-CPU design that allows for a battery-saving media mode, and the ThinkPad Edge becomes for the first non-MacBook to support the superfast Thunderbolt connection.

Read more:
Lenovo kicks off the CES 2012 laptop wars with several early debuts
10 of 21 Velocity Micro

Velocity Micro Shine: Pico projector does HD

The so-called "pico projector" market hasn't really caught the eye of the masses, but we think it's pretty cool to have a 720p-capable video projector that can fit in your hand. The $400 Velocity Micro Shine has native 1,280 x 768-pixel WXGA resolution, is 4 inches wide, and weighs just 9 ounces. Expect a lot of these to be bought under the guise of "business projectors," but used for wall-size Halo tournaments.

Read more:
Velocity Micro debuts Shine, 'smallest HD-capable' projector
11 of 21 Samsung

Samsung HW-E550: The morphing soundbar

Can't decide between a sound bar or a more traditional 2.1-speaker setup? Thanks to Samsung, you no longer need to choose. The HW-E550 works in either configuration--choose between a horizontal sound bar, or unsnap the left/right sides, mount them vertically to the included bases, and you've got a pair of tallboy speakers instead. Not shown in the photo is the included wireless subwoofer.

Read more:
Samsung's HW-E550 sound bar 'morphs' into vertical speakers
12 of 21 Google

LG adds Google TV

Despite a lot of hype, the initial Google TV products from Sony and Logitech didn't click with consumers in 2010 and 2011. That's not stopping Google from trying again. Sony, Samsung, and Vizio have pledged new Google TV initiatives in 2012, but LG has provided the most detail. Interestingly, it appears that LG will allow users to choose between Google TV or its own Smart TV interface when accessing online content--so it's not betting the farm on Google like those earlier models did.

Read more:
LG announces its first Google TVs
13 of 21 Responses Photo magazine.

Fujifilm X-Pro1 mirrorless camera

Fujifilm has already released information on its full slate of point-and-shoot cameras--as well as an upscale megazoom--due in 2012. More interesting, however, was the leak of the X-Pro1 mirrorless interchangeable lens camera shown here. We expect to get the full official details on Monday, at Fuji's CES press conference (which CNET will be live blogging).

Read more:
Fujifilm mirrorless news leaked before CES
14 of 21 HP

HP's Omni 27: A 27-inch Windows all-in-one answer to the iMac

Apple has offered a 27-inch iMac for years, and now Windows users get the chance to opt for that jumbo screen size as well with the HP Omni 27. The caveat? The Omni's resolution is "only" 1,920x1,080 pixels (1080p)--notably below the 2,560x1,440-pixel resolution of the iMac.

Read more:
The HP Omni 27: Finally, HP announces a 27-inch Windows all-in-one
15 of 21 Toshiba

Toshiba's Excite X10: Superthin Android tablet

Android tablet makers are always looking for ways to distinguish their products from the iPad. Toshiba is going for thickness and weight, claiming that its new 10-inch Excite X10 tablet is 55 grams lighter and 1.1mm thinner than Apple's current market-leading tablet. Sounds nice, but the problem is that the iPad 3 is likely just a few weeks away.

Read more:
Toshiba's new tablet is thinnest yet, but does its price kill it?
16 of 21 Engadget

LG's 84-inch ultra-def 4K 3D TV

4K TVs--also known as "ultra-definition TVs"--offer twice the resolution of current 1080p HDTVs. Sounds cool in theory, but there's not any video content available (outside of the PC and photo realms) that can take advantage of all those extra pixels. Still, LG's jumbo-screen ultra-def TV may show promise by allowing full 1080p HD with passive 3D glasses--something not possible with current passive 3D models. We'll see later this week.

Read more:
LG's eye-poppin' 84-inch 3D ultra-def TV heading to CES
17 of 21 Samsung

Samsung home theater systems pack vacuum tubes, cloud DVD storage

Home theater has become pretty boring at recent CES gatherings--cheaper Blu-ray players, more sound bars, more streaming. Samsung is mixing it up a bit with with its new Blu-ray home-theater-in-a-box (HTIB) systems for 2012. The two big highlights: hybrid vacuum tube amplifiers (which will hopefully offer some old-school, warm analog-style sound), and a "disc to digital" feature that Samsung says will "enable users to turn eligible copies of their personal DVD collection into digital content." Obviously, that last one needs some significant details fleshed out--details we're hoping to hear at Samsung's press conference on Monday.

Read more:
Samsung HTIBs with tubes, cloud DVD storage
18 of 21 Parrot

Parrot AR.Drone quadcopter gets an upgrade

The Parrot AR.Drone quadcopter was one of our favorite tech toys of Consumer Electronics Shows past. For 2012, the app-controlled hovercopter is getting some hardware and software tweaks designed to make the device easier to fly. Better location and orientation sensors should make the drone more stable in the air, and a new pressure sensor will help it hold its altitude more accurately when it's more than a few feet off the ground (when the ultrasonic ground proximity sensor is ineffective). There's also a 720p video camera built into the nose, and some improved control app features for iOS and Android. We're hoping to test-fly it later this week.

Read more:
Parrot AR.Drone quadcopter gets better specs and software
19 of 21 LG

The Spectrum: LG's latest Android phone

LG is trying to revive its smartphone offerings with another Android superphone. The rumored Spectrum is said to boast a dual-core 1.5GHz processor, 1GB RAM, and a 4.5-inch HD display. Rounding things out are an 8-megapixel camera, 4GB internal storage, a preinstalled 16GB microSD, and 4G LTE connectivity. Supposedly, though, it won't have Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) at launch. We should get confirmation on everything later in the week.
20 of 21 Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Acer's superthin ultrabooks

Acer debuted a trio of new ultrabooks on Sunday. At just 15mm thick, the Aspire S5 is said to be the "world's thinnest" 13-inch laptop. Meanwhile, the new Timeline Ultra laptops have 14- and 15-inch screens and optical drives, stretching the definition of "ultrabook."

Read more:
Acer unveils ultrabooks, cloud, and little else
21 of 21 Screenshot by John P. Falcone/CNET

Stay with CNET for complete CES 2012 coverage

That initial wave of product news represents just the tip of the iceberg. We'll have complete coverage of the 2012 Consumer Electronics Show as things officially kick off in the hours and days ahead.

See the CES calendar

CNET's complete CES coverage

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